Artists’ Books in Australia, Brazil and the UK

A free public symposium, The Station, Bristol

Friday 26th October 2018

A day of discussions considering aspects of artists’ books in Australia and Brazil with further links to Australasia and South America. Our investigative team met over the week of 22nd October as part of a larger study we are planning. The symposium conversations were developed as part of a project to investigate links and histories that lead into current practice today. As a group, our related research areas include: artists’ books, print history, linguistics, letterpress printing, design, fine art, pulp-printing, digital and traditional printmaking processes, curating, collecting, teaching and publishing. We considered different aspects and overlaps between artists’ practices and books.


Dr Jennifer Batt, Centre for Material Texts, University of Bristol, UK
Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow artists’ books, CFPR, UWE Bristol, UK
Dr Amir Brito Cadôr, Escola de Belas Artes, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Angie Butler, letterpress and book artist, PhD researcher, UWE, UK
Marian Crawford, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Monash University, Australia
Dr Rhiannon Daniels, Centre for Material Texts, University of Bristol, UK
Dr Tim Mosely, Lecturer in Fine Art, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Dr Paulo Silveira, Professor for Art History, Instituto de Artes, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Tom Sowden – Head of Design, & co-director of the Making Books Research Centre, Bath Spa University, UK

Dr Rhiannon Daniels and Dr Jennifer Batt are experts in the printed tradition of Boccaccio’s Decameron, 18th Century literature, book history and reception history. Dr Paulo Silveira is the author of ‘The Violated Page’ publication on artists’ books and uses the artist’s book as a tool for research. Marian Crawford’s ‘Picturing the island’ Siganto Foundation Creative Fellowship investigated memories reminisced using historical documentation, and Dr Tim Mosely’s artists’ books investigating haptic space within printmaking and the Western privilege of the eye over the hand. Dr Amir Brito Cadôr’s has built a formal collection of artists’ books and as an artist, works with the artist’s book as a performative tool.

Tom Sowden’s book projects reference Ed Ruscha’s systems from the 1960s and 1970s; Angie Butler and Marian Crawford’s specialisms in letterpress and artists’ books referencing how we can ingest and contemplate information in the digital age and in daily living. Sarah Bodman and Tim Mosely have collaborated on projects including CODEX Event Brisbane and Correlations. We discussed elements of these over the day and also viewed physical examples of works. We hope that these conversations will in turn raise questions and illuminate some links between the various practices in these disparate geographic areas.

The first phrase learned when studying conversational English in Brazil is: O livro está sobre a mesa – the book is on the table. We tapped into that as a theme for the day, with physical examples of practice on show with 100 examples of artists’ books from Australasia and South America displayed for the public to handle. Alongside these displays, we paired up for conversations. You can download a series of pdfs showing further examples of practice in Australia and Brazil from the links below.

PDF of images of practices in Australia and Brazil.

PDF of images from Sarah Bodman and Tim Mosely’s conversation.
Listen to the audio file.

PDF of images from Amir Brito Cadôr and Tom Sowden’s conversation.
Listen to the audio file.

PDF of images from Jennifer Batt and Marian Crawford’s conversation.
Listen to the audio file.

PDF of Paulo’s images from Rhiannon Daniels and Paulo Silveira’s conversation.
Listen to the audio file.

PDF of Artists’ Books: a Brazilian Perspective, an article by Paulo Silveira, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Listen to the audio file of Angie Butler’s conversation around the table of artists’ books with Amir, Marian and Tim.

Artists’ Books in Australia and Brazil – Looking to the past to read into the future was made possible by a Research Collaboration Fund award from the University of the West of England.

View some images from the day on Angie Butler’s Instagram thread #TBIOTT.

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